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Power productivity: Thinking composable? Think workflows

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Dhaval Majithia, Product Manager at Contentstack, explores the essence of workflows for content creators to understand their importance in digital management and their role in enhancing team productivity.


  • What are workflows for content and digital experience management?
  • The benefits of using workflows
  • Who in an organization designs or owns a workflow?
  • Contentstack’s workflow tool
  • The scope of workflows, including the potential stages
  • Are workflows just nice to have, or are they necessary?
  • The benefits of integrated workflows

Workflow docs for developers

Workflow docs for content managers

Key Takeaways

What are workflows for content and digital experience management?

A workflow manages repetitive, sequenced processes tailored to specific team tasks.

"Think of a workflow as a system for managing repetitive processes in sequence. For instance, in a software company, a development team might create code, have it reviewed, push it to production and then test it. That's their workflow. Similarly, a content creation team might have a sequence where a content leader drafts, sends it for review, passes it to the SEO team, then the media team adds rich media, followed by proofreading and finally publishing. Different teams have varied workflows for their daily repetitive tasks."

The benefits of using workflows

Defining workflow ensures content consistency and control for managers through set processes.

"It could have multiple benefits to multiple stakeholders. Let's say there's a content manager or someone overseeing the whole process; defining workflow gives them an opportunity to define the whole process of content creation so they're in better control of the content being pushed out. It also ensures consistency because once you have the series of steps defined, you know that your content is going to go through that exact set of steps. So, passing it through your brand guidelines or having SEO in there, you know that whatever is being pushed out has gone through the series of steps you defined earlier."

Who in an organization designs or owns a workflow?

An ideal workflow manager understands and refines the end-to-end content process.

"A suitable team to manage a workflow knows the entire process. For example, while someone creating content for an online newspaper might not understand the full workflow, the chief editor does. They're aware of the steps a story must undergo before publication. Someone familiar with the end-to-end process is ideal to define the workflow. This can undergo stages of review until finalized, but it remains adaptable, allowing for refinements when gaps are identified, or stages need removal."

Contentstack’s workflow tool

Contentstack's workflow defines content creation stages and governs publishing with user permissions.

"In Contentstack, our workflow encompasses everything previously discussed about managing content creation. Our solution is divided into two parts: workflow stages and publishing routes. Workflow stages help define content creation phases like draft, review, SEO and approval stages. Within this, you can specify permissions, determining who can create or access content at specific stages. Publishing routes govern the rules around content publishing, determining who can publish, when and at which workflow stage."

The scope of workflows, including the potential stages

Team size and tasks dictate workflow complexity, from simple stages to intricate permissions.

"For a small team creating content quickly, the workflow might be simple with stages like draft, review and publish. In contrast, a large enterprise with multiple teams involved in content creation might have stages like drafting, reviewing, proofreading, adding media files and incorporating SEO details. This can lead to complex workflows with up to 20 stages and customized permissions for different teams."

Are workflows just nice to have, or are they necessary?

Contentstack offers integrated workflows, reflecting the widespread need for content management.

"Whether you choose to use workflows depends on the user's needs. Many organizations use external applications to manage their workflows. With Contentstack, customers have the advantage of an integrated workflow feature, eliminating reliance on third-party applications. The prevalence of such applications today underscores the widespread need to manage the content creation process, a common practice among organizations."

The benefits of integrated workflows

Internal workflows in Contentstack enhance collaboration and provide optimal content governance.

"Collaboration benefits when the content workflow remains within Contentstack, avoiding third-party applications. Managing content end-to-end within the system ensures optimal controls, stages and governance compared to external solutions."

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